I have GASsed, oh yes.
At the end of January I took the plunge and decided to buy a Suhr ( as in ‘soor plooms’ ) after seeing a gorgeous trans red Pro Series S3 in the US for a fantastic price.
I had been aware of Suhr’s since Mark Knopfler’s Pensa Suhr, and only came across them again when I used to browse the web looking at custom guitars with amazing finishes such as Tom Andersons etc. The Suhr site then used to have a small but nice gallery of guitars that was handy for drooling over . Back then I actually priced up a custom which came to a whopping £2.4K which stopped the idea dead in the tracks then and there!
Since then their profile has risen with the likes of the mighty Guthrie Govan, Scott Henderson, Reb Beach etc. choosing Suhrs as their main axe of choice and rave reviews and comments from players the World over. The master stroke though was to bring out a line of ‘Pro Series’ guitars which provided the handbuilt masterbuild quality of the Standards, Classics and custom jobs but for a much lower price. Therefore offering alot of bang for the buck.
The initial Pro Series S1 and S2 models were more of the classic Strat vibe, which I’ve never been particularly fond of, but last year they launched the S3 and S4 series which featured custom quality flame maple caps and a hotter bridge humbucker . Much more to my liking! In fact S5 and S6 models have just become available,twin humbucker models with floyds, I am currently trying to ignore those .
So with all this in mind I went for it and made the purchase! It took much longer that usual to arrive as sadly it was held up in customs. It took three long weeks to wind its way from the US to here but man it was worth the wait.
Buying blind can be somewhat of a risk, I always recommend trying out guitars in the shops just in case, but it was unlikely that this guitar was going to be anything but of the highest order to be honest. If it was I could have sold it on here for a profit anyway, but, any chance of that was blown away the second I opened the case and picked this baby up. Stunning finish and feel. The neck is a true joy to play, being main ‘interface’ for the player and instrument it really is a huge deciding factor whether a guitar is or isn’t for you. Finished in very light satin the hand just glides over the back of the neck. Combined with the Plek fret dressing and Buzz Feiten tuning, bending is as smooth as and the intonation is perfect.
The combination of basswood body and maple cap is something I hadn’t played before, John Suhr calls it the “Holy Grail” of body wood combination and I agree it does sound awesome. I have a basswood Jem which has that classic midrange sound, ideal for cutting through, so I’m very well used to that sound. Combined with the maple though, note articulation seems tighter and there is added clarity to the notes. There are some very convincing strat sounds available here as well as good old heavy gain rocktastic sounds by switching to that hot humbucker at the bridge.
I am very very happy with this guitar and could well see it becoming my main guitar, though I still have my awesome hardtail RGA and Jems for Floyd Rose 24 fret mayhem! Sadly one of my current collection will have to go to fund the purchase. I stayed up all night mulling over which one to sell but opted in the end to sell my Les Paul. I have the RGA for Mahogany/Maple cap sounds and have thought long and hard about where my playing style is going, if at all , and just couldn’t sell the Jems.
The Suhr does indeed live up to the hype and the Pro Series offers amazing value and build quality for the money. Check them out if you can, now back to some jamming! \m/